As 2017 dawns upon us, I know the majority of us are busy setting goals. Some of us keep these goals in our head, some proudly announce them in the form of ‘resolutions’, and some make lists.
If you are one of the people who make lists, you are already way ahead of the game. Studies have shown that people who write down their goals are MUCH more likely to achieve their goals than those who don’t. And that makes complete sense! After all, out of sight = out of mind.
However, is simply listing out goals enough? Not really. To ensure success, it is equally important to be STRATEGIC about HOW you want to set goals.
Here is a 7-step process that is guaranteed to improve your goal-setting and goal-achieving habits in 2017:
- Think of what areas of your life you want to make big strides in 2017. They can be Health, Career, Business, Relationships… PICK 2 or 3 areas you want to focus on. Less than 2, and you are putting your blinders on. More than 3, and you are going all over the place. Pick 2 or 3 Life Areas, and move on to the next step.
- Now, within these life areas, write down 1 or 2 goals ONLY.
- Now take a step back and assess your goals. Are they in alignment with which direction you want your life to go over the next few years? How are these goals making you feel, now that they are written down in front of you? If the goals are aligned, and they are making you feel excited, move on to the next step.
- Break each of these goals down into smaller, manageable chunks — let’s call these sub-tasks. Keep breaking them down until you cannot anymore. Assign deadlines to the sub-tasks. Be ambitious, but not too aggressive.
- Put your deadlines and sub-tasks into your calendar or planner or agenda — whatever it is you use to keep track of your time. Don’t have one? I highly recommend you get one ASAP. My favourites are the Productivity Planner and the Shining Year planners.
- As you go throughout the year, resist the urge to take on any other projects. Keep your big goals in plain view — and keep your focus on them completely. Distraction is the biggest enemy of achievement and completion. By far! Consistently keep chipping away at the goals and tasks you have set for yourself.
- Leave a little room in your plan for MAGIC! By that, I mean that leave some room for flexibility. Life has a way of surprising you with fabulous opportunities when you least expect them. Keep yourself open for those once-in-a-lifetime surprises and epiphanies.
This 7-step process encompasses the three little nuggets which will become your friends:
BALANCE. FOCUS. MAGIC.
Balance: 2 or 3 broad Life Areas
Focus: Breaking down goals into sub-tasks and eliminating distractions
Magic: Leaving room for flexibility
And that’s it! These are my absolute best tips for making 2017 your best year ever. If you follow the 7 steps listed above diligently, you will absolutely guarantee success.
Now, it’s your turn. I would love to know, what are your best practices for goal-setting success?
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